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Best Decorating Decision

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poptart

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Well, DH and I have officially decided to stay out here on the east coast for a few more years, whether or not his discharge comes through this May. It''s been great for our marriage, and we have developed some very strong friendships out here that we are both thankful for. Anyway, I figure it''s time we make our apartment more "homey". It''s a small apartment and we aren''t allowed to paint the walls (bummer) but we can hang pictures, curtains, etc. So my question to all of you is this: what are some of the best decorating ideas that you have used in your own home? I am just looking to compile some of my own ideas as well as some from hubby and others so we can start to make our house look like a home. Thanks for your input!

*M*
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
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My best advice would be to have fun with decorating but also to keep an eye on the bigger picture--try to find things that will transition well into your dream house someday...it''s kind of like buying a new wardrobe, you want a few fun and trendy pieces, but also a good foundation of classics that will not look dated 5-10 years from now, you know?

I also would say to try to determine what your personal style is, and try to make that flow from one room to the next. Don''t go all Asian/zen theme in one room and French boudoir in another...

If you want to hang things on the wall, try to avoid going for the quick fix at XYZ big box store, maybe you and DH could spend a Saturday browsing some art galleries to get a feel for the type of things you both like, then you can invest in a really nice print or original and have something that will last forever, not just until your lease is up 2-3 years from now. (I can''t tell you how many times I have made the mistake of giving in to impatience and just running to Target and grabbing something, ANYTHING to hang on a blank wall, lol) Most of those mistakes went to charity or a garage sale...
 

poptart

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Yes, we need some good art! I paint, and DH is great with a camera so hopefully we can get some awesome things on the wall. We really want some deep red curtains for sure because that is one of our favorite colors. Other than that I am a little wary because personally I find some very conflicting things attractive. For example, I love gothic imagery, but also love that country cottage feel. Those two couldn''t ever work together! DH likes many of the same things I do, so in that respect it should be fairly painless to redecorate.

*M*
 

gail013

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Sep 21, 2006
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Poptart-

I have so many different styles in my home that shouldn''t go together, but buy what you love and it will work. Our home is eclectic, and I always have people asking "I wouldn''t think that would work together-how did you do it?" The best advice I can give you is not to worry about following the rules. Gothic and Cottage-why not? The idea of buying artwork is a good one,-I particilarily love to buy artwork at street fairs by local people-it is original and also less exspensive. Many of our pieces were collected on trips and they bring memories when we look at them. The other thing I would mention is not to buy too many small pieces as they tend to look junky. People are aftraid to buy large items when sometimes they have much more impact than several small ones. Do you collect anything or are you two drawn to anything in particular?

We have very little left from our early days together as a couple. We were so broke then, and our style-OK MY style has changed so many times since then. It took me some time to educate my husband on the finer points of decorating, and now I realize most of the time he doesn''t care that much anyway.


Other advice-dark colors are so much better and warmer -don''t be afraid of color in your furnishings if you can''t do the walls.
 

poptart

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Gail: You are right about buying larger pieces. I am terrified of buying big stuff... maybe it stems from the fact I''m so small, Lol! But we have this humongous cross stitch that my MIL handmade for our wedding and it is gorgeous, so big pieces really do look phenomenal. And I know our tastes will change as we get older, but I think there are some things that will stay the same because I''ve loved them ever since I was little. The darker and warmer colors also look great, I just worry that the house won''t really look great if I can''t paint the walls... so pictures are probably the first thing I should tackle! Thank you!

*M*
 

eks6426

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When I lived in apartments I got tired of the white walls too. One thing I found to work was to basically cover 1 entire wall with curtains. This works best on a wall with no windows. I could see it being really dramatic in your red velvet. You hang the curtain rods (the plain kind because you won''t see them anyway) right at the ceiling for the length of the entire room. Then hang curtains from floor to ceiling. They have to be long enough to go all the way to the floor but not puddle. I made my curtains from fabric....really basic sewing...just sew a pocket at the top. You can get away without hemming if it''s not fraying or use the iron-on hemming.

I''ve done the fabric thing behind a couch in my living room and behind my bed in the bedroom when I didn''t have a headboard. Floor to ceiling "curtains" along the entire wall really can give you a great focal point. Don''t be afraid to hang a picture or mirror over the fabric to give a multi-dimensional look.

You can also make an impact with several frames that are exactly the same grouped in a grid...Make sure all the mats are the same too. Then take photos that all relate together and put them in the frames. Or magazine/calender pictures or even objects like leaves, postcards etc. It really doesn''t matter what''s in the frames. It''s the graphic look of all the frames in a grid. I found that doing at least 9 frames works best...3 across and 3 down although if the frames are big enough you can get away with 4..2 across and 2 down. I usually do black frames & white mattes then put black & white photos or sepia photos in them. Right now though since it''s winter, I''m using a tropical island calendar pages. I change the things in the frames with the seasons.
 

Kismet

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A nice area rug can really help pull a room together. At first I wasn''t really keen on getting any as I liked the look of bare hardwood but now I''m glad we got some.
 

poptart

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Thank you Island Dreams and Kismet for your suggestions. I had never thought of using a curtain as a way to cover the wall. Well, it had crossed my mind, but I kind of dismissed it because I thought it might not look good. But above the bed it definitely would look great! Kismet, we do have one rug in our living room, and it works pretty well, but maybe we could get one with a better design. I was afraid to do that because we have Berber (sp?) carpet, but if I looked for some fun designs I bet it would look better than the plain carpet we have now.

*M*
 

eks6426

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I could see a dark red velvet wall of curtains behind your bed with maybe a black wrought iron mirror and some candle sconces mounted over it maybe with some crystals on them....just an idea.
 

upgrading mama

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Date: 2/2/2007 8:51:11 AM
Author: IslandDreams
I could see a dark red velvet wall of curtains behind your bed with maybe a black wrought iron mirror and some candle sconces mounted over it maybe with some crystals on them....just an idea.
wow that sounds so romantic!!
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
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Date: 2/2/2007 8:51:11 AM
Author: IslandDreams
I could see a dark red velvet wall of curtains behind your bed with maybe a black wrought iron mirror and some candle sconces mounted over it maybe with some crystals on them....just an idea.
That sounds very lovely! DH and I actually talked about putting sconces up by the window because we love candles! It''s funny how you suggests a wrought iron mirror, because I love them. I also like those decorative wrought iron wall decorations, and those old antique windows they sell with the stained glass in them. I really do like the red velvet suggestion though, I''ll have to start looking around for places that sell it.

*M*
 

jcrow

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mirrors work well in small spaces too. while in the apartment, i didn''t want to buy expensive stuff b/c i''d rather do that for a house i knew (or was hoping) we''d eventually get. so, when i decided to get stuff for a really large wall i had, i opted for small round mirrors. i bought i think 16 and made a pattern with them of 4 across and 4 down. they were from ikea and very affordable. for the money i couldn''t have gotten the same coverage from artwork, by far. the other matching wall, i hung shelves that look like mantles. i hung 2 of them and put large black frames of various sizes containing pictures.
 
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